Apple sent three top executives to Washington, D.C. yesterday to testify in front a congressional hearing on Apple's tax practices. Making the journey from Cupertino were CEO Tim Cook, CFO Peter Oppenheimer and Phillip Bullock -- Apple's head of Tax Operations.
The hearing went on for a few hours, and as one might expect from such a controversial issue, the lively debate became intense at times. Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich., took an especially tough stance on Apple, calling its tax practices "unacceptable."
Nevertheless, there were moments of levity we can extract from the hearing.
For starters, Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., following his pointed questions for Apple's panel about taxation, thought it high time to ask Cook about updating apps on his iPhone.
"What I really wanted to ask," said McCain, "is why the hell do I have to keep updating apps on my iPhone all the time?"
I can't really blame him though. I mean, McCain had to either ask Cook while he had the chance or otherwise fork over $610,000 for the opportunity to have coffee with the Apple CEO. All in all, it was some very shrewd financial planning from McCain.
All kidding aside, here's McCain and Cook sharing a lighthearted moment.
Second, let's have a bit of fun with Apple's tax math. In an effort to demonstrate the sheer volume in taxes Apple already pays domestically, Cook noted during his opening remarks that, in 2012, Apple paid the US Treasury "nearly $6 billion, or $16 million per day."
Curious, I decided to see how much $16 million per day translates into on an hourly basis. Dividing by 24 yielded an interesting figure -- $666,666.667 per hour to be exact. Yep, the devil's number. Something tells me Levin isn't surprised. Also of note is that $666.66 was how much the Apple I originally retailed for.
Saving the best for last, we have the always hilarious folks from The Onion who solicited the following "opinions" from average Joes as part of their sarcastically brilliant "American Voices" feature.